Commentary

Capitol Perspectives: An invasion of the U.S. Capitol 

BY: - January 18, 2021

This column is prompted by the pictures of the Capitol assault that triggered fond memories of where I had been an NPR reporter for about six months before I was recruited to start MU’s State Government Reporting in Missouri’s Capitol. While the invasion of our U.S. Capitol raises several major issues for our country, this […]

How Eric Greitens and Josh Hawley soared so quickly in Missouri politics

BY: - January 15, 2021

Flush with ambition and cash, a newcomer arrives like a bolt from the blue. Or, in Missouri’s case, red. He jumps a line of aspirational politicians, lands in a statewide elected office and immediately sets his sights on a higher target, heedless of the wreck just up the road. Missouri has seen this movie twice […]

Let’s not get fooled again: Fight lies by learning to recognize truth

BY: - January 14, 2021

We have a crisis of credulity in this country. We’ve become a nation of dupes. The inability of far too many Americans to separate fact from fantasy, and the people who are eager to take advantage of that failure, are the root of the rot in our country. The consequences, long evident, should now be […]

Our home was attacked Wednesday. It may never be the same.

BY: - January 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Many of us in our working lives have places away from the office that feel like a second home. It could be a back room at a business, a warehouse, a barn, even the front seat of a car. For me, that place for years was the U.S. Capitol. Thousands of people’s lives […]

The latest threat to America comes from within

BY: - January 7, 2021

I was in tears. Shown by CNN in live video, the floor of the U.S. Senate was occupied by terrorists in MAGA hats waving Trump flags. Those still outside the Capitol were smashing windows. As the cameras panned the House floor, congressional staffers cowered behind desks and police aimed guns at the door, their obvious […]

We’ve lived under McNutt’s persistent surveillance. Here’s why St. Louis should say ‘no’

BY: - January 5, 2021

Ross McNutt wants to help the St. Louis Police Department spy on you. I’m familiar with his promises about how his company — Persistent Surveillance Systems (yeah, really) — can save your city by flying airplanes over your heads at all waking hours. For years, I’ve heard him say the same thing about our city, […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Capitol Perspectives: A time for setting legislative priorities

BY: - January 4, 2021

The start of Missouri’s legislature during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about how lawmakers will adjust to the realities of this rampant virus. Just visualize a state Capitol during a normal legislative session with legislators, legislative staffers, lobbyists, agency officials, visitors and reporters crowded into committee rooms and narrow hallways. Because […]

Can Joe Biden ‘heal’ the United States? Political experts disagree

BY: and - December 25, 2020

Editor’s note: When Joe Biden becomes president on Jan. 20, 2021, he will lead a fractured nation whose political factions are separated by a chasm. In his victory speech, Biden asked Americans to “come together” and “stop treating opponents as enemies.” Is healing possible between red America and blue America? We asked experts on political […]

There are good reasons Black people don’t trust health institutions. I still got the COVID vaccine

BY: - December 24, 2020

“To make people trust, you need to become trustworthy…. I think if…communities were engaged in conversation… people would know: ‘You are hearing me, you are respecting my right to ask questions and get a legitimate answer. So now let me make up my own mind’…. If we approach it trying to convince other people, we […]

Five calls from Missouri politicos after Election Day

BY: - December 21, 2020

When I address state legislatures about ethical dilemmas in public life – and how to avoid making a mistake like the one I made in the days immediately following my first campaign  – I always say that smart people learn from their mistakes, but wise people learn from other people’s mistakes. It’s in that spirit […]

Capitol Perspectives: Teach your children well

BY: - December 17, 2020

This column is inspired by a 1970 song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for parents to “teach your children well.” I’ve been thinking about that song often as I’ve wondered how my relatives who were stuck at home during World War II dealt with restrictions similar to what we’re encountering with COVID-19. They tried […]

With the the state’s bicentennial approaching, what does it mean to be a Missourian?

BY: - December 14, 2020

The year 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of statehood for Missouri — Aug. 10, to be exact. Almost seven years ago, the 97th Missouri General Assembly put the State Historical Society of Missouri in charge of planning statewide commemorations of the bicentennial. Since that time, we have visited Missourians in each county in the state, listening to how […]